what is love?

Love may be the most used and the most potent work in the English language.  We write tomes about it, pen poems about it.  We sing songs about it and pray for it.  We fight wars for it (see Helen of Troy) and build monuments to it (see the Taj Mahal).  We soar on its declaration — “I love you!” —and plummet at its dissolution — “I don’t love you anymore!”  We think about it and talk about it — endlessly.  But what is it really?” -Sue Johnson, Hold Me Tight

Love doesn’t have to be a mystery.  It is the most powerful survival code of our species.  We can understand it…and shape it.”  -Sue Johnson

“Everyone needs a secure bond with another.  This bond offers us a safe haven to go to with a loved one where we can find comfort and support and a secure base to go out from into the world.  This need is wired in.  It seems to be even more primary than aggression or sex.”  -Sue Johnson, author of Hold Me Tight

Definition of Love: We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection.  Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them–we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.  Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows.  Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed, and rare.   –Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly

Love is a neural duet — Lovers IMPACT each other.  -Sue Johnson

“The security of our connection with others impacts our physical health; for example, our immune system and the health of our hearts.  It also impacts our mental health; for example, how vulnerable we are to depression and anxiety.” -Sue Johnson